WILMINGTON, DE – July 18, 2018 – Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Representative Paul Baumbach, and Senator Margaret Rose Henry paid tribute to the Junior League of Wilmington (JLW) in commemoration of the League’s Centennial on Tuesday evening. The tributes were presented during the Junior League of Wilmington’s annual July Iced Tea, which traditionally provides members with an opportunity to generate enthusiasm for the upcoming League year, and also serves as a recruiting event for women interested in joining the League.
After declaring July 17 “Junior League of Wilmington Day”, Lt. Gov. Hall-Long presented a tribute from the Office of the Governor, stating that “with a volunteer-oriented mission, the Junior League of Wilmington has made a significant impact on the greater Wilmington area by helping to found important service organizations like the Delaware School for Deaf Children and the Wilmington Senior Center, among others. Throughout its history, the Junior League has participated in meaningful advocacy work and is currently focused on empowering and inspiring young women.”
Lt. Gov. Hall-Long, a native Delawarean who began her career as a public servant in 2002 in the House of Representatives and then onto a Senator, where she chaired the Health and Social Services committee, sponsored the League’s Erin’s Law Legislation in Delaware, which provides for age-appropriate, prevention-oriented sexual abuse education in public schools.
Paul Baumbach, State Representative of the 23rddistrict and owner/founder of Mallard Financial in Newark, presented a tribute from the House of Representatives honoring the JLW’s empowerment and leadership workshops, life skills and career readiness workshops, and numerous events partnered with the Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc. and the Bayard House.
Senator Margaret Rose Henry, a Sustaining Member of the JLW, was unable to attend the tribute on Tuesday, but sent a special commendation from the State Senate: “Since 1918, this valued organization of women has served the City of Wilmington and its environs, through a strong focus of volunteerism, leadership, and social and quality of life interests in the community… it is most befitting, the Junior League of Wilmington be recognized for its laudable goals and the success of its programs.”
The JLW’s Centennial Committee was represented at the Tuesday, July Iced Tea by Sustaining Members Lynn Bouscaren and Kate Cowperthwait, both past presidents of the League, along with fellow Sustainers Cheryl Heiks and Mary Page Bailey, both past Members of the League’s Board of Directors.
“We are incredibly proud to receive this recognition from Lt. Gov. Hall-Long and Rep. Baumbach as we celebrate a century of service to the Greater Wilmington community,” said Lynn Bouscaren. “From its early days, when the League provided critical services to the most vulnerable groups in the region, through recent years of incubating nonprofits in key areas, the Junior League of Wilmington has impacted the community immeasurably.”
The JLW, with a mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of its members, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers, has played a critical role in establishing many service organizations over the last century, many of which still serve the region today.
The Junior League of Wilmington was among the founders of:
- The Delaware School for Deaf Children
- A Well Baby Clinic at the Italian Settlement House (now West End Neighborhood House)
- Wilmington Senior Center
- Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc.
- Delaware Guidance Services
- Child, Inc., among others.
Over the years the JLW has provided critical funding, as well as countless volunteer hours to numerous community organizations, including the Woodlawn Library’s children’s area, Ronald McDonald House, The Wellness Community-Delaware, and major projects with West End Neighborhood House. In addition, the League’s theater productions evolved into what is now the Delaware Children’s Theatre, and League members served as the first docents when Winterthur opened its doors as a museum in 1951.
The League has also led important advocacy work, including lobbying for increased pay and benefits for teachers as far back as the 1940s, pushing for the passage of the Foster Care Review Act, and working on environmental issues. The JLW’s current community impact work focuses on empowering young women to reach their potential. Recent community impact projects include a one-day empowerment and leadership summit for young women; a pilot series of empowerment workshops for young women with The Choir School of Delaware; and life skills, career readiness workshops, and other projects with our partners Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc., and Bayard House.
“It is fitting that, as we celebrate our Centennial, the Junior League of Wilmington is focused on empowering young women,” said Angela Gustavsen, President. “Our mission has always been to train our Members to transform our community, both through experience and through dedicated educational opportunities. We hope to begin fostering the next generation of women to lead the League into its next 100 years of service.” The League is actively seeking new members, and interested women can visit our website for more information.
About The Junior League of Wilmington